Solutions & Substitutions Column

By: Reena Nerbas

Based on a collection of recent letters, I had an idea for this column.

Did you know? Thomas Edison, light bulb inventor, was afraid of the dark.

Dear Reena,

Is it my imagination, or are an awful lot of the light bulbs in my house burning out at the same time? Is it possible that I have a wiring problem? Betina


Dear Betina,

The fact that several bulbs are burning out around the same time may be attributed to the following: coincidence, or the cold weather outside, or cheap bulbs or the circuit that the lights are on. There may be a loose electrical connection somewhere between the circuit breaker in the main panel and the light bulbs themselves. Either call a professional, or if you are handy (turn off breakers) tighten all connections and clean the fixtures well. Lastly, this challenge may stem from cheap, off brand bulbs. Name brand bulbs are a bit more expensive, but they usually give you substantially better and longer service life.

Dear Reena,
Can I spray paint a light bulb with exterior paint and not worry about it catching on fire when heated? Pat

No Pat, please do not use exterior paint! There are special paints that you can use to decorate and or draw designs on light bulbs; these are paints that you can purchase at craft supply stores.

Dear Reena,

After our bathroom renovation, we left single light bulbs above the vanity mirrors where eventually light fixtures would go. We did not notice that the light bulb was leaning on the wood-framed mirror and has left a black circle. The vanity is made of maple (chestnut brown stain) but I’m not sure if the mirror frame is of the same wood or something else. Is there anything we can do to remove or fade that perfect circle from our brand new mirror frame?

Thank you, Natalie

Hi Natalie,

You can either apply gentle wood bleach or a mixture of powdered pumice and vegetable oil; massage it in along the grain. Wipe it off and polish the area to remove the mark. However, if the mark remains, you will need to sand and refinish.

Hi Reena,

I am anxious to purchase all three of your books for Christmas gifts. In the meantime, how can I remove a light bulb that has broken in a lamp socket? Henry

Dear Henry,

To remove broken bulbs, begin by unplugging the lamp. Put on heavy gloves and safety goggles and press a potato firmly into the metal socket and twist. If it won’t budge, use needle nose pliers. When you put in the new bulb, put petroleum jelly on the threads to make it easier to remove next time.

Holiday Light Bulb Crafts:

· Recycle light bulbs by transforming them into Christmas ornaments. Take unusable light bulbs and drape a thin one-ply beautiful paper dinner napkin around the bulb. Paint the paper with watered down white glue while pressing the napkin directly onto the bulb. Let dry and fasten ribbon and Christmas greenery to the silver end. Hang on your tree.

· Or using red paint, paint a swirl all the way down the bulb as if you were making a candy cane and decorate the top part (the screw part), with a cute wired ribbon use any colour paint and get creative.

Reena Nerbas is a highly popular professional speaker and the author of three national best sellers, “Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions”, “Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets” and “Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives”. Corporate and Christmas Workshops Available by calling: 204-320-2757.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!

Check out my web site!

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